Connect with Us


Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

QOTW: Brittany Maynard and Assisted Suicide

Controversial activist Brittany Maynard chose to pass away on Saturday, November 1st, 2014. Having been diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma multiforme, a terminal form of brain cancer, the twenty nine year old ingested prescribed medications in accordance with Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act.”

The process of Maynard’s diagnosis and decision to move to Oregon, one of only five states in which the Death with Dignity Act is legal, was made public as Maynard, along with her mother and husband, appeared in two videos that captured the experience. Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that supports the right to self chosen euthanasia, produced the videos. In them, Maynard explained her reasons for choosing this path and her logic in choosing the date November 1st as her appointed day to die.

In an interview that took place just weeks before her scheduled passing, Maynard told People magazine, “My glioblastoma is going to kill me and that’s out of my control. I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. So being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.” She went onto say, “For people to argue against this choice for sick people really seems evil to me. They try to mix it up with suicide and that’s really unfair, because there’s not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying.”

Emmanuel College supports the Catholic church’s stance on assisted suicide, which is to say they are firmly against it. The school shared these opinions in a Portal Announcement and a quickly retracted e-mail just before the 2012 general elections, when a ballot question proposed legalizing assisted suicide in Massachusetts. Both the church and Emmanuel believe that preserving life is crucial and that death is not something to be chosen.


This past week, four EC students were asked what their opinions were on the topic of Brittany Maynard and the Death With Dignity Act.

Carey TwymanCarey Twyman’18

“I kind of agree with it because she didn’t want to be in the state where she couldn’t do anything and she didn’t want to suffer. I would have done the same thing.”




Jordan Lindley ’16Jordan Lindley

“It is her life, and her choice. However, I’m not a supporter of suicide. I lost a friend to suicide four years ago and it was very hard for me and my family. Assisted suicide and suicide are not the same thing but people should be given reason to live and not to die. If it were me I would want to live what I have out. It was her decision, but my personal opinion of assisted suicide is that it doesn’t help.”

Kiley OwenKiley Owen’18

“I think that she had the right to do that and it was in her best interest. I think that it was her choice. Nobody else should have a say in what she should do with her own body.”



Elisa Simonsen ’17Elisa Simonsen

“There is a lot of controversy about what she did. Her moving to Oregon in her situation is a lot for her family but it’s what she wanted to do. It allowed her to die with dignity and not suffer. No one likes to see their loved ones suffer from illness.”


Allison Lucy ’17 is a staff writer for The Hub. E-mail her at

Posted by on November 19, 2014. Filed under Around the Hub,Question of the Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.